Wednesday, 24 March 2010

"Saint" Óscar Romero RIP

I like anniversaries. Today is exactly thirty years since someone using an M-16 assault rifle entered a small hospital chapel and assassinated Archbishop Óscar Romero of San Salvador whilst he was saying mass. An audio-recording reveals he was shot while elevating the chalice at the end of the Eucharistic rite. His blood spilled over the altar.

During a sermon delivered only the previous day, he had called upon Salvadoran soldiers, as Christians, to obey God's higher order and to stop carrying out their government's repression of basic human rights.

A generation has passed, therefore, during which in popular thought Romero has become a saint. Yet the Church, so eager to grant sainthood upon the immediate past pope, and upon Pope Pius XII (would Romero have kept silence when the Jews were being rounded up?), still hangs fire.

I have borrowed this sketch of Romero, by S. Njeru Muraguey from the Chicago Catholic Theological Union's website. Njeru is a CTU Graduate.

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